When you’re planning your diet it can tough to know what’s on or off the menu. There’s been so much advice over the years that it’s hard to know pieces are genuine and which are misleading. We all seen the scare stories (Eat too much X and you will Y!) but do they end up giving some foodstuffs a bad reputation?
Here we look at some of the foods that have suffered unfairly from this stigma over the years:
It hasn’t been the best of times for meat recently. Studies from Oxford University and the World Health Organisation have linked red and processed meats to serious illness in recent months yet there is still a place for this in your diet. A sensible amount in your diet will be a great source of iron, B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium and zinc.
A fatty takeaway treat? That’s an unfair misrepresentation. Prepare your own at home and switch the creamy kormas, masalas and pasandas for a madras, rogan josh, jalfrezi or saag. That way you’ll still get all the benefit from the turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamon, ginger, garlic and capsicum that is found in many curries without the calorie-count.
Chocolate is too nice to be any good for you, right? Well, that depends on what type you eat. Dark chocolate can actually decrease cholesterol, help reduce blood clots and blood pressure and boost your brain power in later life. Dark chocolate with 60% or more cocoa has more antioxidants and less added sugar
Ditch salted and coated nuts and you’ll actually be getting yourself a healthy snack, one which will help you to consume the ‘right’ fats. Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds are packed with the right nutrients and fats to help you to achieve the balanced diet you need.
Like red meat, there have been some headlines that have eroded our confidence in eggs. In fact they can be a vital component of a high-protein breakfast and a decent yolk is brimming with vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, choline, and selenium.
The humble white potato has been much maligned in recent years, most due to it being turned into fries or stuffed full of fatty ingredients for a jacket spud. Yet, in fact, potatoes are a great source of vitamin C and B6. Keep the skins on to benefit from a fibre boost. Cut your own wedges, sprinkle them with garlic and use these as ersatz fries for a healthy alternative.
It’s right to see peanut butter as a treat – and excess is bad – but this is actually full of healthy fats that are good for your body. Stick to natural peanut butters – or maybe the almond or cashew alternatives and avoid reduced fat alternatives – which can replace good fats with sugar and salt.
Most of us associate popcorn with the cinema but the variety we munch while glued to the silver screen is the worst type of popcorn you could eat and gives it an unfair bad name. Air-popped plain popcorn is a low-calorie whole grain food that is rich in fibre – a treat that won’t set your diet back.
So set aside your prejudices and get the above foods back on your shopping lists for some guilt-free tasty treats that won’t jeopardise your fitness regime.